My cat has a flea allergy. It only takes one bite and it sets him off. He scratches and looks tatty, and he also gets depressed. He will take himself off to a dark corner and sit. He hasn’t the sort of brain that can decide to do that. His brain is focused on food, hunting, sleeping and females.
A human being also doesn’t choose to get depressed. Our brains can make decisions, we can choose what music we like, what food we like and lots of different things, but we don’t choose depression.
Now my therapist would, I think, say we can choose to be happy. I’m undecided about that at the moment. What I do know is that depression is a reaction of the soul to outside circumstances. Some people have a chemical imbalance it seems, and medication works, however there has been no evidence ever to prove this is true. That doesn’t mean it isn’t. This is my article though and I’m writing about how I see things. So you might not agree and frankly I don’t care. I do care very much about people though and I think most people who get depressed tend to have that trait to their personality.
Having depression is frightening. Fear is a regular visitor. I can be afraid to be happy and I can be afraid to be unhappy. The in-between is safer and that is depression. Depression for me started very early. My Mother suffers with depression but in her day it was called “nerves”. Because of my Mother’s nerves I was sent away at about 2 years of age because I was “always crying”. Actually the fact was she couldn’t cope with a baby. I understand now how hard it must have been for her.
When someone is depressed things are hard. Demands on a person become huge. Expectations like lead weights. Cooking can seem impossible. A bath too much to contemplate. And that doesn’t mean all people who are depressed smell and don’t eat. I’m very particular about things like that. In fact depression can also make it hard to relax, break routine. Being very clean can be a reaction to depression as much as not being able to face a bath.
I am finding it hard to write about depression because it isn’t something separate from me. It’s a reaction of my soul. So it is entwined with who I am.
I am not always, in fact I’m never, sat in a corner unable to move. This is the great fallacy. People with depression are not weak. We are very strong. I am strong. I’m funny. I get pleasure from the smallest things. A ladybird can be fascinating and beautiful to me. I enjoy laughing.
I believe depression is a result of a lack of love, recognition, stimulus, fun. It’s when the little person looks at the grown up as their God and God is screwed up. If God, who is always right, all-wise, all-powerful, if he does something, like withhold love, then the little person believes they are bad. Because God (the parent) is good. This was my depressions birth.
We are all unique, depression is unique to each person. A doctor giving antidepressants out is akin to a mechanic handing you a spanner when you take your car in complaining somethings not right.
This is why I would advise anyone, who knows someone who is depressed, to listen. Forget every book you ever read. Every time you felt low. Treat a person who is depressed as you would anyone. Listen to them, give them your time. Treat them as an equal. They have depression, and they also have a soul.
Respect their soul.
Tony Martin ( @redfoxcountry )
Confucius: Have no friends not equal to yourself